Zimbabwe

European Commissioner Louis Michel reaffirms commitment to people of Zimbabwe

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IP/08/1721

Brussels, 17 November 2008 - European Commissioner Louis Michel has underlined Europe's commitment to helping the people of Zimbabwe during talks with Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai at this year's European Development Days in Strasbourg, France.

During a series of meetings, Commissioner Michel underlined that the EU stands ready, once the agreement of 15th September 2008 is actually implemented and permits the restoration of the rule of law and respect for human rights, to adopt a package of measures to assist in the consolidation of democracy and in the country's economic and social rehabilitation.

Commissioner Michel stated: "I am delighted that Morgan Tsvangirai chose to begin his visit to Europe by participating during two days at this year's European Development Days. International development assistance will be key to assisting Zimbabwe on its future recovery. The humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe is multifaceted and so our response needs to be the same providing not only humanitarian assistance but also essential assistance for health and education projects for example to help the vulnerable populations."

In 2007, The European Commission provided 90.9 Million euros in both humanitarian and essential development aid which was channelled through our international partners such as UN agencies. The European Commission is the main donor to the vulnerable populations of Zimbabwe having provided more than 500 million euros in direct support to the population since 2002.